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Aldo Group Inc. says its North American creditors have voted in favour of its restructuring plan and settlement, almost two years after the footwear company filed for creditor protection.

The Montreal-based company says the vote is a crucial step in its effort to exit protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

Some additional legal and administrative steps remain over the next few weeks, including the finalization and approval of an agreement in Switzerland, before the company can completely emerge from court proceedings.

Martin Rosenthal, of the court-appointed monitor E&Y, says it was pleased to find a fair settlement with creditors.

The restructuring proceedings allowed the company to stabilize the business as it underwent a transformation of the organization to focus on profitable core competencies.

CEO David Bensadoun, whose father, Aldo, founded the chain in 1972, has said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic put too much pressure on business and cash flows.

“Today, after a thorough restructuring process out of which we are announcing our imminent exit, we know that the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act was the right path to take to solidify the Aldo Group’s financial foundation and ensure the long-term sustainability of the business,” he stated in a news release.

The retail fashion industry, already undergoing a sweeping shift amid the migration to online shopping, has been hit hard by a pandemic that has shuttered storefronts across the globe and sent apparel revenues plummeting.

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